TLX Technologies

LOCATION: W223 N735 Saratoga Dr., Waukesha, WI 53186


Year founded: 1998

Product or service offered: Design and manufacture of electro-mechanical solenoids and valves.

Projected 2009 revenue: $3.6 million

CEO, President/Owner(s): Neil Karolek, president and CEO; Derek Dahlgren, vice president

Leadership team: Katrina Goetz, controller; Wayne Groth, sales manager

Target clientele: Solenoids and valve assemblies are used in numerous devices. Transportation, industrial, consumer, water control and fire protection are only a few.

Business organization memberships: SAE – Society of Automotive Engineers; APM – American Purchasing Managers; SHRM – Society of Human Resource Management

What has fueled your company’s growth? We seek out and focus on applications where our unique magnetic technology can provide the customer a market advantage because of faster switching speed, higher tolerance for extreme temperatures or lower cost because of a smaller and more efficient package size.

What is the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth?

Finding, training and retaining skilled engineering talent.

Do you plan any changes in your company in the upcoming months?

We are embarking on a more focused marketing effort that involves a more informational website and are implementing lean processes throughout our company with the help of WMEP here in Milwaukee.

Who are the business people, locally or nationally, whom you admire? And what traits do those people exhibit that make you admire them?

You could say I’m a car enthusiast, mostly older vintage race cars so; I admire skilled drivers from that era, (‘60s), that even went a step further and became very successful business leaders. Roger Penske and Carroll Shelby as examples. Few would dispute Penske’s business capabilities and his motto – “Effort Equals Results” is something to emulate. Ford still uses the Shelby name and reputation for selling the Mustang fully 40 years after Shelby first developed the performance version of that trend setting vehicle.

What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months?

Given the dynamics of the economy, we would estimate a lessening of the current downturn rate or even a leveling off. TLX is fortunate that we have some newly launching programs for 2010 that will help bolster our overall sales as the New Year starts.

What is your company’s key strategy for rising out of the recession?

We have cut back some expenses but overall, we’re not in a survival mode by any measure. We’re investing in the continued development of new technologies and support of customer applications which will require additional hiring. A new website, and an emphasis on even more face to face customer visits is also being used to maintain and develop new business opportunities.

Congratulations from the strategic partner behind TLX Technologies.


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